Victoria to boost defence manufacturing with supply chain initiative

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Avalon Airport Industrial Precinct. Image credit: avalonairport.com.au

Minister for Manufacturing Sovereignty Ben Carroll announced the first round of grant recipients under the Victorian Land Systems Fund – Supply Chain Uplift Program, which aims to support local companies to improve their capabilities in defence manufacturing.

In particular, the initiative will aid local enterprises become part of Hanwha Defence Australia’s supply chain by helping them meet specific technological, business system, and accreditation requirements.

Minister Carroll visited the site on Wednesday for Hanwha’s $170 million Armoured Vehicle Centre of Excellence under construction at the Avalon Airport Industrial Precinct.

When finished, the facility will construct self-propelled howitzers for the Commonwealth’s LAND 8116 program, resulting in the creation of more than 300 new high-skilled employment in design, engineering, and advanced manufacturing.

The government said Hanwha is one of the final two applicants for the Commonwealth’s LAND 400 Phase 3 program.

If successful, the company’s Avalon facility will also manufacture the “Redback” infantry fighting vehicles.

“We want to see more Victorian-made products used by global defence firms like Hanwha, which is why we’re helping small and medium businesses to compete for and win major contracts,” Minister Carroll said.

Legislative assembly member Lara Ella George expressed her delight to witness the Hanwha site’s development, which will result in the production of self-propelled howitzers for the Australian Army, hundreds of new jobs for the area, and a ton more prospects for Victorian businesses.

Five companies with expertise in land systems defence will receive grants totalling almost $200,000, including those from Waurn Ponds’ Hannagan Solutions and Campbellfield’s APV Corporation, which will create custom textiles to shield and conceal soldiers and military vehicles.

Other businesses receiving funding are Australian Precision Technologies, Redline Engineering, and Diamond Defence. Australian Precision Technologies and Redline Engineering plan to improve their cyber security systems, while Diamond Defence will implement a new quality management system to obtain industry certification.

Hanwha said its decision to locate its defence manufacturing facilities in the state was encouraged by the Labor Government. 

Around 6,300 enterprises make up Victoria’s defence industry, which supports 24,300 jobs statewide and brings in $8.4 billion annually for the state’s coffers.